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Bennett Sisters Series #7

Blame it on Paris

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When Francie Bennett, 4th in the line of lawyer/sisters, comes under serious allegations of wrongdoing at her law firm, she is mortified to learn she must take a leave of absence. Just a formality, they say, but she is sure this is the end of her reputation and her law career. Will she sit around her apartment and eat cheese, drink wine, and binge Netflix for weeks while hoping it gets worked out? 

ZUT ALORS! NON! She is off to Paris on assignment by the mother of a student jailed for serious drug crimes in France. She stays with her sister Merle and her boyfriend, the debonair policier Pascal, in the Marais district while trying to navigate the murky waters of the French criminal system. Is the student an actual European drug kingpin? Or has he been framed by someone? He looks guilty as hell, but first impressions can be confusing, especially inside one of France's worst medieval prisons. 

But wait-- a distraction from crime. A law school boyfriend that the flighty Francie kicked to the curb years before has surfaced. Instead of the boring lad she flicked away, Dylan Hardy is now sophisticated and suave-- and speaks perfect French from working in an international law firm. And he's single again, Merle discovers, eager to find her sister a real boyfriend after many rejects over the years.

IT'S SPRINGTIME IN PARIS-- or would be if the rain would ever stop. In between visiting the student in prison, gumshoeing about his University, and witnessing drug stings gone wrong, Francie longs to find blooming cherry trees that make Paris the magical place she imagines it is. Will Dylan's sudden re-appearance in her life be a good thing, or a repeat of her many romantic failures? Will she figure out what is going on with the drug dealer/student? Will she ever find her pink trees of legend?Francie, sister number four, has her own adventure in law, love, and France.

262 pages, Kindle Edition

Published August 24, 2018

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About the author

Lise McClendon

58 books183 followers
Lise McClendon is a fiction writer living in the Rocky Mountains of Montana. She has been a film reviewer, a film maker, a journalism professor, and a PR flack. Since her first novel, The Bluejay Shaman, in 1994, she has served on the national board of Mystery Writers of America and the International Association of Crime Writers/North America, as well as on faculty of the Jackson Hole Writers Conference where each year she critiques, speaks, and learns from writers new and old.

Check out the Lise McClendon Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LiseMcClendon

Lise McClendon also writes as Rory Tate in the 2011 thriller, JUMP CUT. Her new novel by Rory Tate is PLAN X, available now. Read her latest novel, Château des Corbeaux, 17th in the Bennett Sisters mystery series that began with Blackbird Fly.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Andrea Stoeckel.
2,566 reviews103 followers
September 4, 2018
“Memory was fluid, wasn’t it? You remember things the way you want to, to preserve your ego, to hide your shame.”

Francine, “Francie” Bennett, up and coming Associate at Ward & Bailee, isn’t giving it “her all”. Since her promotion to Assitant Managing Partner, she’s felt more like a babysitter than a mentor to the new recruits, and it’s draining her. It seems like she’s at a crossroads when a grievance is filed as a six degrees of separation request comes across her desk that leaves her baffled.

All this finds her in Paris trying to track down the information she needs to help someone related to her late husband Tom. She stays with her older sister Merle, herself a lawyer rebuilding her life in France. Francie finds herself embroiled in a drug case that places her smack in the middle of current issues, reconnecting serendipitously with an old flame, and allowing issues back home in Connecticut to play out.

From Fresnes Prison, the second largest prison in France to the the Pont Neuf and the “love locks” bridge,Lise McClendon takes us back to the land she loves, “warts and all”. Paris may be the city of love and lights, but contemporary Parisian life has its feet in our real world. McClendon’s Bennett sisters, in this, her seventh addition to this enjoyable series, take us, through the eyes of the Bennett’s, to a Paris that becomes in itself another character; perhaps a wise older grandparent who acknowledges and teaches patience and love.

As an up to the minute mystery, the author knows what she is doing. As a love story, this book shines. Together, they weave a spell you don’t want to end anytime soon. Mystery and Love: what else do you need to escape? Highly recommended 5/5

[disclaimer:I received a copy of the title from the publisher for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility]
Profile Image for Sue.
596 reviews18 followers
September 17, 2018
Blame It On Paris is the seventh book in the Bennett Sisters Mysteries and it is just as phenomenal as the previous six. Taking you on a wild ride from Connecticut and all through the different towns in France, it leaves you enchanted.

This time the focus is on sister number four, Francine (Francie). She has just been promoted to a new position as an Assistant Managing Partner. Unfortunately, the role is not what she expected and she spends more time babysitting then mentoring new recruits. When a harassment suit against her by one of the recruits leaves her on paid leave, she seems to be at a crossroad.

While trying to figure out what to do on the career front, a situation related to her late ex-husband Tom has arisen and she must jet off to France to help a young man imprisoned for selling drugs; something he vehemently denies. Somehow Francie finds herself in danger, embroiled in drug dealing, corruption, and the French criminal system.

But if that wasn’t enough while visiting Paris with her sister Merle, Francie runs into an old flame and she can’t help but wonder if he was the one that got away. Can she mend fences, reconnect to the past love, and find her happily ever after?

What can I say? This book has so much going on, but I loved every minute of it. This is one of those books that you just can’t put down. The Bennett sisters are a mixed bag of personalities that you both love and hate, who experience hardship, love, failures, and triumphs, and fight like only sisters can do. There is a little bit of mystery, intrigue, humor, and romance on each page. With a well-written storyline, engaging characters, and the background setting of Paris, this is a must-read book.
5,275 reviews
September 4, 2018
Blame it on Paris is the seventh installment from Lise McClendon's series, Bennett Sisters Mysteries. And a great installment it is! I have read and enjoyed a few others in the series and this one does not disappoint. I loved getting to know sister Francie better in this one. I love how the author describes the setting. It made me feel as though I have traveled to the streets in France.
I enjoyed Francie's story in Blame it on Paris. I found it to be delightful, intriguing, and fun. The mystery and suspense that surrounded her brought excitement that kept me interested in what would happen next in the book.
I give Blame it on Paris four stars. I will definitely be looking out for the others in the series. This one should not be missed. I would recommend this book for readers who enjoy a good and quick mystery.
I received this book from the author. This review is 100% my ow honest opinion.
Profile Image for Shree.
Author 2 books10 followers
September 20, 2018
Looks like I've gone on a spree,devouring books set in France. At the very mention of the word "Paris" I picked up the book without even reading the summary. Thankfully, that's a decision I didn't come to regret.

Francine Bennett, the fourth of the five super talent Bennette sister goes through an insanely rough patch in the office thanks to office politics and a very harmful accusation by a colleague. She is petrified by the prospect of taking mandatory leave until the issue is sorted out, all because the iron clad procedures which she herself drafted. To her luck, she is contacted by a friend of Reese Pugh who is having a tough time in Paris jail without a friendly lawyer. The charges are serious, giving Francine an opportunity to visit Paris in the time she gets off. She ends up navigating the barriers and blockades of the French judicial system along with her sister who lives in France and has a French boy friend.

Croissants, Cherry Bloom, Espresso - the story is just peppered with all thing typical to Paris. Not that I'm complaining though! The story is well paced out and has the right kind of twists and turns in place to keep it an engaging read. In spite of not having read the previous books in the series I was able to get into that grove and understand the flow. However, there were a couple of threads in the story that didn't make sense as they referred to incidents from previous books - it wasn't really harmful to the flow of the story in general for me.

The characterization is just perfect. Given that the writer might have introduced all the characters in her previous books, she has to take enough care to not overdo as it might become repetitive for people who have followed the series. She also has to ensure that the new readers won't really feel out of depth because they've not read the other books. The writer has done a splendid job balancing the characterization.
28 reviews
August 28, 2018
The newest Bennett Sisters book is another very enjoyable book in this series. I was hooked on the Bennett sisters from the first few pages of "Blackbird Fly" and my enthusiasm has not waned.
In this book we learn more about Francie, the 4th of the 5 lawyer-sisters. Francie is a woman with problems that are real-world: issues at work, an ex-husband (now dead) who still manages to interfere in her life, and a good heart that leads her to try to help an American student in Paris, even though her connection to him is tenuous at best.
Paris is the setting for this book and the author's familiarity with the city is apparent. Having just returned from a trip there myself, I could picture the Marais, the restaurants and shops around the lovely Place de Vosges, and the Pont Neuf, etc.
Merle and Pascal, the main characters in the series, are present but take more of a "background" role in most of this story. Francie is smart, curious, romantic, and caring. The more I got to "know" her the more I liked her. The story is just the right amount of mystery for me - keeps me thinking but doesn't keep me awake in the middle of the night, LOL.
I'm already wondering if the next book with help us know another sister better! Which one? Can't wait to see.
Profile Image for JM Spade.
Author 4 books58 followers
March 2, 2020
I loved reading all about Francie's adventure in Paris. I listened to the audiobook and now am eager to hear the others in the series!

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
Profile Image for Jill.
350 reviews
August 27, 2018
Another great Bennett Sisters adventure by Lise McClendon! Loved the story, the setting and the characters! The plot was amazing...mystery, intrigue and surprise twists. Definitely kept my attention! Ms. McClendon has such a gift for writing. I could easily picture the street scenes, the cafes and the prison she describes in the book. Loved getting to know Francie a bit better in this book. Can't wait for the next adventure!
97 reviews1 follower
March 19, 2019
I really enjoyed this book!

Francie was an amazing character, the passion, drive and strong will really stoke to me.

Having spent a lot of time around lawyers of all backgrounds, to find one did passionate about their cause of fit a short while is refreshing. The romance story that didn't become to full on is also a refreshing change.

All characters are very well written and the book a pure joy, thank you!
340 reviews1 follower
April 15, 2019
This was my first book in the series and my first by the author. The book kept my attention from the very beginning until the very end. I believe that this book can be read as a standalone as I felt as if I did not need to have read all of the prior books in order to understand the characters and some of the previous adventures.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
7 reviews
August 21, 2018
As always I just loved this new book! It takes you to beautiful Paris with Merle and Pascal but we discover Francie even more as she is the principal in this book. Mysteries are still involved as always. I am already impatient for the next of the series! Hopefully another of the Benett sister to discover?!
Profile Image for Phthon.
1,514 reviews4 followers
August 16, 2018
Another amazing offering from the masterful Lise McClendon! I loved that this was from the point of view of another Bennett sister! Full of intrigue, confusion and mystery, this book was a serious page turner! I loved it!
132 reviews
May 26, 2019
Bennett Sisters

Loved this book. I loved the descriptions of Paris and made me feel I was there with the hustle bustle of the city. I binge read all the books and sad I have to wait for the next one. Love this series and can’t wait for the newest one this summer.
Profile Image for Nati.
1,973 reviews10 followers
February 6, 2020
Another mystery from the Bennett’s sister. Francine is going to Paris to help a a young student in jail for drugs accusations. Will she save him? Will she find love and happiness again? The audiobook is great. I received a free copy of this audiobook and I voluntarily review it
8 reviews
August 21, 2018
Brilliant as ever - feel like you are actually in Paris. Love reading about the antics of the Bennet family. Can't wait for the next instalment.
Profile Image for Betsy.
198 reviews1 follower
August 25, 2018
Each Bennett sisters’ book, I have a new favorite sister! Loved Francie’s story and the multiple plot threads in Blame It On Paris!

Also, love the look at the non-tourist side of Paris.
Profile Image for Texas.
1,691 reviews391 followers
March 16, 2019
Blackbird Fly #1 - This is my first read by this author and it was not what I expected. A good story filled with plenty of storylines that did keep my interest. Merle has so much happen to her with the death of her husband; her discoveries are many and varied. I like that the characters are real and do not follow the stupidity formula so commonplace today. There are several mysteries ongoing and while you know some of the endings, there is more depth than expected. I did find too much wordiness with quite a few unnecessary details, which proper editing would have reduced the page length and corrected the possessive vs. plural usage and other errors. There is infrequent vulgar language, which I did not find necessary. 4*

The Girl in the Empty Dress #2 - This book begins a year after Blackbird ends. I like the way the blog told parts of the story without the wordy descriptions that are too much in these stories. There's an increase in the vulgar language. Editing is needed for the misuse of words, for example: guano, the improper use of God and expressions with God, and the wordiness with unnecessary details. I was confused by the chauvinist label when a policeman told Merle to be careful with the kidnappers; that was not being a chauvinist, that was common sense. There is not much of a mystery, but the other storylines are still interesting, especially the relationship between Merle and Pascal. The regular characters are growing with each addition to the series and are still interesting. 3.5*

Give Him the Ooh-La-La #3 - This starts five months after Girl ends. I do not understand why someone is in love and yet distrusts or resorts to secrecy without good reason, instead of communicating their concerns to their beloved. Merle disappoints me with her avoidance and bad thoughts of Pascal, and the way she thought about the Christmas gift. She is definitely following the stupidity formula so common today; I am losing respect for her. There is not much of a mystery in this story. Needs the same type of editing as the previous books. 3*

The Things We Said Today #4 - This book starts six months after Give ends. The same as the last two, but this one is heavily against marriage - not modern, but the old traditional one of man is obeyed. Gee, the intolerance and prejudice by supposedly intelligent, older women who act so stupid about men and marriage. Merle does act better in this addition. There's not much mystery but a lot of worries and doubts by many of the characters. This is mainly about the lives of the sisters. Pascal still shines in his role. Needs editing; has the modern trend usage of God, which reeks of intolerance and prejudice. 3*

Blame it on Paris #7 - I read the first four books because I had them a while in my library and volunteering to review Blame made me clean out my library of these books; I do not find them worth keeping, not even the first and I liked it. But I promised to review this book; the others were purchases I never made time to read. This book starts since one year after Things ends. The emphasis is on Francie and her woes; sexual harassment charges at work from a younger man, which allows her three weeks in Paris to help an American in prison facing drug charges.

With her involvement with the American there is finally an involved mystery, which the other books just attempted as a sideline. Unfortunately, the culprits were easy to figure out in both the harassment and the drug charges. Merle and Pascal are still a good part of the storylines, which I was happy to see them involved so much with Francie. Francie was not an interesting character for me, but M and P were my favorite characters throughout this series. I still have a problem with the lack of basic editing: God; proper names lowercased; etc. I found this book on Booksprout; the others are purchased. 3.5*

Bennett Sisters French Cookbook #8 - This cookbook consists of basically 25 well known French recipes and depending on where you live some ingredients will be difficult to find. There are histories behind the recipes; the books in which they appear; and some excerpts from those stories.

Those already knowledgeable about the recipes and Bennett Sisters books will not find this book a good addition to the series or cookbook collection. Many of the recipes are better written from other sources; Julia Child is the go to for these recipes, but they are available everywhere. For those who are absolutely in love with this series and do not care that the author has her personal opinions infused in the recipes and/or may never try a recipe, this book is for you. Gee, you can boil potatoes in cold, salted water? Silly me, I always used fresh water brought to a boil; all that Swiss chef school training wasted on me. Be careful, there were mistakes. 4*
Profile Image for Kathleen.
1,110 reviews35 followers
August 20, 2018
“Blame it on Paris” earns 5/5 Croissants, Espresso…Engaging Fun!

The word “Paris” got me joining in, but it is Lise McClendon’s well-written story, well-developed characters, and engaging banter that kept me turning the pages. Francine Bennett, one of five Bennett sisters and a twenty-year veteran lawyer with Ward and Bailey, Esq., has been dealing with frustrating office politics, sudden illness of a named partner, and a disturbing “he said/she said” accusation that has facilitated a leave of absence. She has also been approached by a friend of Reese Pugh who is in a Paris jail without any friendly lawyer to stand for his defense against drug charges. Pugh’s parentage, personal letters, and inconsistent support from his parents have led to her decision to make a trip to Paris and deal with things in person. Ahhh, croissants, espresso, and the French legal system…mais oui!

This sixth book in the Bennett Sisters series is merveilleux! I was totally engaged in the entire story detailing personnel issues at Ward and Bailey, Esq., navigating the French legal system and language, insights into the delightful sisterhood, and the clever ranting channeling “Lawyrr Grrl” on her blog. Although there is a lot to unpack in this story, it is easy to follow along, and references to past events are not intrusive or a spoiler for those who are newbies wanting to go back and enjoy the series untainted. McClendon’s third-person narrative is informative including excellent descriptions to illustrate setting, cuisine, physical demeanor, and personalities, however, she doesn't rely just on the narrative style. She pens delightful banter that also depicts tone and emotion. I enjoy the “sisterhood,” and am very taken with Francie. She may have regrets in her life, but she tries to support her sisters, colleagues, and clients to the best of her skill. “Oui!” I highly recommend this book. I was engrossed in all the stories that went beyond just a kid enmeshed in the drug community, and very pleased with the ultimate conclusions, pay backs, and Karma!

"Disclosure: I received an ARC. My review is voluntary with honest insights and comments."
Profile Image for Jacqueline.
359 reviews24 followers
May 25, 2019
Blame it on Paris sees us back in France with Merle Bennett and one of her sisters, Francie, and this time it is Francie who gets most of the main action. Following an accusation at the law firm in the US where she works, she finds herself with enough time on her hands to investigate the case of a forgotten American, imprisoned in Paris on drug charges. Paris, an investigation to solve and a hint at romance; I couldn’t wait to get stuck into this book.

Strange and often dangerous situations seem to have a habit of finding the Bennett sisters and they can’t help but become caught up in the middle of them. However, they are a force to be reckoned with; intelligent, knowledgeable in law and with real determination to discover the truth, no matter how much it has been hidden - never underestimate them.

Despite feeling this book had less drama than the previous books in the series, and missing being in Merle’s cottage in the Dordogne, there was still a lot to enjoy here. Lise created a real sense of place with the setting of this book and I could easily imagine myself in Paris, by the River Seine, and taste the delights the sisters and Merle’s partner Pascal discovered in the many hidden away bistros they visited. I enjoyed Francie’s sense of discovery and chance of romance that Paris gave her, but as always in this series of books it’s the twists and turns of the investigation that I love. Francie and Merle are led to many doors, but not everyone is keen to talk or help them, but perseverance, team work and with the delicious Pascal on their side, I had no doubt they would be able to unravel the truth in the end.
4,263 reviews25 followers
March 25, 2019
As Francie says, we're starving for love, justice, connection, purpose: for whatever makes us whole.

She finds which pieces feel like they are missing from her life, and might have found things to fill some of those holes.

Seeking justice for a young man who was a bit fuzzy and just needed some help and direction while she was suffering from her own efficiency in writing very thorough sexual harassment policies that provided for a great deal of protection for the accusers, and little defense for the accused.

Perhaps finding her own way back to pieces and echoes of her hear and family past can make it possible, and easier moving forward to a different tomorrow.

Bruises to the heart, mind and ego can echo and make us better of meaner. Well done for Francie as it seems to make some things at least richer for her and what she does for others.

An exciting KU read, with plenty of twists and challenges.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout.

I read this book on Kindle Unlimited, was excited to meet new characters who are part of an on-going series, and to meet a new favorite author. I am voluntarily leaving my review.
490 reviews5 followers
August 2, 2021
While the story was good, I must take issue with Greg. Having spent 50 years in a law firm, I can truly say, NO firm would ever keep this man within their firm. Not only does he fraudulently file a sexual harassment charge against one of the other (female) attorneys in the firm, but then commences to sexually harass one of the other female employees. Does the author really believe that any law firm would have such a low standard of integrity for their employees, that they would overlook all that he has done and keep him on the books. In real life, what he did would be the end of his legal career.
Aside from that, I enjoyed the trip to Paris, learning so very much about this country that I never knew. Makes me want to take a trip to Paris, if for no other reason but to see the bridge of locks.
This is the first I have ever read one of the books in the Bennett Sisters series and do believe that I will look further into it.
Profile Image for Fran.
23 reviews
May 12, 2020
My first Bennett sister's book was "Blackbird Fly" it is such a great book I immediately purchased all "The Bennett Sisters Mysteries." Then I binge read the series and purchased the three additional books featuring (the man of any woman's dreams), Pasquale. I love that authors are finally writing books about older women who are actually living their lives not sitting home whining because the kids don't visit. I had not read anything by Lise McClendon previously she is a great writer I get lost in her books her descriptions of places make you feel like you are right there with the characters. Her characters are fleshed out you can see them in your mind's eye she is a rare talent. Buy these books you will not be disappointed.
71 reviews1 follower
April 2, 2020
I had to listen to this book a couple of times before I could get into the story. I don’t know how much of that was the narrator and how much was just life being extra crazy right now. Once I was able to get into it I definitely enjoyed the story. I feel the narrator did an excellent with the French in this book. Her voice is very far from being the worst I’ve ever listened to as a narrator, but seems to lack the energy and inflection I find to be prevalent in my favorite narrators. If given an opportunity and the right price I would read more from this series.
Profile Image for Danielle Carpenter.
1,472 reviews5 followers
July 11, 2020
This is the first book I've read in this series and the story by itself can standalone. The book gets off to a really good start, but the story starts to drag when we get to France. These two are too old to play the silly games of romance, but it seems that they do. Dylan didn't hold up to be a really great guy for Francie. This caused a big disappointment in me. I think the author could have done better with Dylan's character. When this story ends, there is no real HEA and there is no real definition of there relationship.
February 10, 2020
Awesome book! I almost never pick up a book that is number 7 in a series without reading/listening to the earlier books. But I wasn't confused at all. Whenever earlier books were mentioned, it made me want to read the rest of them. I also really enjoyed this narrator. She kind of sounded like a really nice middle school teacher or something like that. I hope I can find more of them! <3

This book was given to me at my request. I am providing a voluntary review.
79 reviews3 followers
March 11, 2020
This is a mystery and to enjoy the characters you need to read the other books first. I haven’t, so it was difficult to get into the story and really enjoy the characters. It wasn’t much of a romance, focuses on the sisters and law cases. Not usually my genre but it was clean. Took a while to get through it, a bit long for what I usually enjoy. The narrator did a good job with French words and accents.
171 reviews
April 30, 2020
I received a credit to review this book. Here is my honest review. This is book 7 in the Bennett Sister mysteries and although there are references to the past in this book, it is nothing more than had it been a stand alone book recalling a past incident. That said this book is like a short visit to Paris, the scenery, the weather, the food, and a mystery what more could you ask for? It was a well written story, narrated very well and I would recommend this book
Profile Image for Jan Miller.
729 reviews4 followers
May 15, 2020
Lisa McClendon is wonderful painting vivid pictures with her words. I so enjoy the Bennett Sisters Mysteries. This book is the 7th in the series, yet a standalone listen. The sisters are endearing characters. This book focus is around Francie and pseudo client. The mystery was well done and the descriptions perfect. Denice Stradling was wonderful conveying the authors words. She brought the characters to life.
Profile Image for D Marie.
624 reviews
April 9, 2019
I'm new to this genre, but this is a good book. I didn't like Francie, at first, but she grew on me. Merle and Pascal are sweethearts and really supported her. I'm glad I got a view of Paris that the locals see. It was refreshing to read a book that didn't focus on the tourist areas.

I received a free copy of this book via Booksprout and am voluntarily leaving a review.
77 reviews1 follower
January 19, 2020
Crime in Paris

The Paris setting and the alleged crime of a young American man were well written. Finding out that the true criminal was a member of the police department was interesting. I enjoyed all the references to sites in Paris. A true revelation for francophile. This is the first book by the writer I have read. I enjoyed it so much I will be reading more by the author.
Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews

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